Thursday, December 09, 2004

A Non-Writer's Life

Monday's writers group meeting was a landmark: none of us brought anything new to read or critique. I couldn't believe it. Are we getting soft? We decided to talk for a while, which we can't help but do for a fair amount of time every meeting, but only after writing for 45 minutes. I was just going to do the exercise for the Washington Post--your life in 100 words or less (if they publish it, they send you $100!)--but at the urging of the gals, we all worked on character sketches for our current project. I'm happy to report that was very helpful. I've been feeling very uninspired to work on my YA novel of high school in the '70s (hm, how did I come up with that idea?), but this exercised revived my interested. I wrote about my main character's best friend, and afterwards I felt so much better.

I still struggle so much with my writing. My little brain swirls with fantasies about being a writer for a living, or at least for a little extra cash and/or amusement. I receive plenty of support and encouragement from family and friends. But I manage to find other things to fill my time with other than writing. Why is this? Am I lazy? Afraid of failure?


One of our discussion topics during the meeting was God, something I've been thinking about a great deal lately, and trying to put into words. I didn't grow up in a very religious family, and Rebecca commented that Christmas must've been weird without the God component. My first reaction was "How could it be weird--it's all I knew?" But upon reflection, the public part of Christmas was a bit disconnected for me when I was young. People were going to church and partaking of rituals that had no meaning for me, and it was odd for me since supposedly Christmas is a religious holiday and I didn't associate the celebration to God at all.

I'm not sure how/if it relates, but this brings up similar feelings of being child free: I'm having a hard time describing what it's like to feel left out of a "club" (church, parental circles) that I don't want to belong to in the first place; and, I'm finally becoming more comfortable with what not being a parent and what celebrating Christmas means in my life.


At 12:15 PM, December 20, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting connection there at the end, between the "non-Christmas" and "non-children" feelings. That's what I love about your writing, the way you connect things together and make your personal feelings/ruminations examples of larger ideas. I'd love to see you develop this connection more if you're in the essay-writing mood at some point.

Speaking of which, believe me I hear ya on the struggles with writing...I comfort myself with the thought that there are always going to be ups and downs in inspiration as well as output, and really, that's ok. You're not beholden to anyone but yourself, and if yourself isn't feeling the passion, so to speak, no need to beat yourself up about it. It will come back. The wheel always turns (whoops, was that *me* saying that? Heh.).

Hang in there, writer-buddy. It's ok to be distracted. You are fabulous (and anything but Average)!



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